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Author Topic: Primer sizes  (Read 6293 times)

cpolk

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Primer sizes
« on: November 24, 2010, 11:32:08 AM »
Approximately 10 years ago i got interested in reloading rifle brass and then stopped. Recently i have upgraded my reloading tools and i might add at a large cost to me. i have decided to reload brass in calibers that i have not previously loaded and i have a question. How am i to determine the primer size for a particular caliber. I have been uncessful in locating info which tells me the primer size for different calibers.
Example: 45/70 gov't, 223, 308 and 44 mag. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated


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JesseL

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Re: Primer sizes
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2010, 12:05:39 PM »
Welcome to We The Armed cpolk!

Often your load book will mention a specific primer that was used in working up the data. For example this data from Alliant mentions the use of WSR primers - that is Winchester Small Rifle.

Generally though, you can pretty easily infer the size for yourself. For most metallic cartridges using boxer primers there are only four sizes to choose from: small pistol, large pistol, small rifle, and large rifle. Look at a few different cartridges and you'll readily see which ones are large and which are small.

The small pistol and small rifle are the same diameter, as are the large pistol and large rifle. Pistol and revolver cartridge usually use pistol primers and rifle cartridges generally use rifle primers.

The remaining factor is magnum primers. Any of the four sizes may be had in a magnum variation and these primers generate a larger/hotter flame for igniting heavier loads of slower burning powders and IIRC may use a thicker cup to withstand higher pressures. Again, this is something that should be mentioned in your load books if it's necessary.

From your example; 45/70 gov't will use large rifle, .223 Remington will use small rifle, .308 Winchester will use large rifle, and .44 Mag will use large pistol.
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sqlbullet

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Re: Primer sizes
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2010, 12:23:29 PM »
Every reloading manual I own specifies the primer.

However, that doesn't mean that is the primer on your brass.  In some calibers you find that both sizes of primer pocket has been used over time.   They are either large or small, and you can tell the difference by looking.
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cpolk

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Re: Primer sizes
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2010, 12:56:28 PM »
Thanks for the info. I shall look more closely at my reloading manuals. And once again thanks

seanp

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Re: Primer sizes
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2010, 03:23:58 PM »
Yeah, just to add to the above points:  Winclean .45 ACP used to use small pistol primers (not sure if it still does), while all other Win white box .45 ACP uses large pistol primers, for example.  So make sure to check your brass.
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Re: Primer sizes
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2010, 09:34:21 PM »
Most loading manuals will have primer chart in them as well. 
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Re: Primer sizes
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2010, 11:52:48 AM »
Also, Handloads.com has pretty comprehensive info on primers and everything else per caliber and type. ;D
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